Strasbourg Observers

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  • Guest Blogger

Rahimi v. Greece and the proceduralization of children’s rights

April 15, 2011

By Laurens Lavrysen* In the recent case of Rahimi v. Greece, the European Court of Human Rights had to rule over the detention and the lack of care of a 15 year old Afghan unaccompanied minor. At arrival in Greece, he was placed in detention for two days, after which he was abandoned to live […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Lautsi v. Italy: Possible Implications for Minority Religious Symbols

March 31, 2011

What are the implications of the recent landmark judgment in Lautsi for minority religious symbols in state school classrooms? At first sight, the Court seems to adopt a more open approach towards the presence of religious symbols in the school environment. On closer examination, however, this may not necessarily be the case. This post briefly […]

  • Weichie

Lautsi v. Italy: the Argument from Neutrality

March 22, 2011

Lautsi v. Italy was destined to achieve legendary status in the ECtHR’s case law. In fact, it became the stuff of legends long before the Grand Chamber’s judgment came out. Rarely has a judgment of a supranational court put such a spell on people. Rarely has it inspired such passionate comments and speculation even before […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Kiyutin v. Russia: landmark case concerning the human rights of people living with HIV

March 21, 2011

Recently, the Court came down with a judgment that strongly condemns the stigmatization of people living with HIV. Kiyutin v. Russia is, as far as I was able to ascertain, the first case in which the Court rules on the merits of a claim of discrimination on the ground of a person’s HIV-positive status. Straight […]

  • Guest Blogger

Aydin v. Germany or the Strasbourg Court’s faint reasoning in a case of political dissent

March 17, 2011

Today’s guest post was written by Hannes Cannie, PhD candidate at the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University. Further information on Hannes, including a list of his publications, can be found here. In Aydin v. Germany (27 January 2011) the Fifth Section of the Strasbourg Court held with six votes to one that the applicant’s […]

  • Weichie

Mgn Limited v. the United Kingdom: Naomi Campbell v. the Tabloid Press

March 14, 2011

Mgn Limited v. the United Kingdom concerned several articles published in 2001 in the tabloid Mirror (now Daily Mirror), revealing that supermodel Naomi Campbell was attending Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings in an attempt to treat her drug addiction. The articles were accompanied by several photographs, including one in which Ms. Campbell was seen standing in […]

  • Guest Blogger

Banning Speech in the Public Space

March 10, 2011

Guest post by Rónán Ó Fathaigh, PhD candidate at Ghent University. For more information on Rónán, find him here. The recent Article 10 judgment in Mouvement Raëlien Suisse v. Switzerland merits some close attention given the important questions of principle which are     arguably involved. The First Section of the European Court found no violation of […]

  • Guest Blogger

Abuse of ‘forum shopping’ in defamation case and freedom of academic criticism

March 08, 2011

By Dirk Voorhoof, Ghent University / Legal-Human-Academy* On March 3, 2011, the Tribunal de Grand Instance de Paris issued its decision in a case that has alarmed journal editors and reviewers, being afraid it could  have a chilling effect on scholars’ and editors’ willingness to publish book reviews. The case concerns the  criminal libel case […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Freedom of religion in conflict: Siebenhaar v. Germany

March 04, 2011

With the case of Siebenhaar v. Germany, the European Court of Human Rights is confronted for the third time in less than half a year with a case against Germany where one of the concerned parties is a church in the capacity of employer. The two previous cases are Obst v. Germany and Shüth v. […]

  • Guest Blogger

M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece (2): The impact on EU Asylum Law

February 24, 2011

By Laurens Lavrysen* As Lourdes explained in her blog post, “any attempt to comment exhaustively on the recent landmark ruling of the Grand Chamber in M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece in one page would be bound to fail.” This post will therefore focus on the impact of this judgment on EU Asylum Law, in particular […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

Gypsy Way of Life “By Birth” or “By Choice”

February 22, 2011

This post is co-authored by Lourdes Peroni and Alexandra Timmer In an inadmissibility decision that might have gone unnoticed by many, the Court has recently ruled in an interesting case, Horie v UK. The case involves a “New Age Traveler” who complained of an impediment on her ability to pursue a nomadic way of life. […]

  • Maris Burbergs

The new powers of single judge formations and committees

February 18, 2011

“The year 2010, which was the sixtieth anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, has been an important year for the European Court of Human Rights,” writes the president of the Court, Jean-Paul Costa, in the foreword to the 2010 report.[1] Indeed, Protocol 14 entered into force in June of last year, granting long-awaited […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Local ‘burqa ban’ violates human rights (according to Belgian judge)

February 16, 2011

Although Belgium does not have a general ban on face covering veils like France, a lot of cities do already ban it in practice. This happens through local regulations that sometimes prohibit face-hiding masks, make-up or the like in the public space. An exception to this rule is accorded for the periods of the festivities […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece: When is a Group Vulnerable?

February 10, 2011

Any attempt to comment exhaustively on the recent landmark ruling of the Grand Chamber in M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece in one page would be bound to fail. It is an extraordinarily rich judgment. In this post, I therefore limit my comments to one single aspect I find particularly intriguing: the concept of group vulnerability. […]

  • Weichie

Haas v. Switzerland and Assisted Suicide

January 27, 2011

The applicant in Haas v. Switzerland was a 57 years old male who suffered from a bipolar disorder since nearly 20 years. Wishing to commit suicide, Mr. Haas attempted to obtain a lethal substance (sodium pentobarbital) that was only available on medical prescription. To that end, he contacted several psychiatrists, but was not able to […]

  • Guest Blogger

Comparing Abortion to the Holocaust

January 25, 2011

Today’s guest post was written by Rónán Ó Fathaigh, one of our colleagues at the Human Rights Centre. More information on Rónán can be found on the website of the Center for Journalism Studies of Ghent University, here.   Amid all the discussion regarding the A., B. and C. v. Ireland judgment, it is interesting […]

  • Alexandra Timmer

2010: year of “profound moral views”?

January 20, 2011

2010 was a turbulent year for the European Court of Human Rights. The Court has been under fire both for usurping too much power and for achieving too little. The first type of critique is made by conservatives who recycle the old idea that an international court has no legitimacy to judge the situation on […]

  • Lourdes Peroni

Police Violence against Roma: To Investigate or Not to Investigate, That Was Not a Question

January 17, 2011

When is the duty to investigate possible racist motives triggered in cases of ill-treatment and death in police custody? In one of the latest 2010 judgments (Mižigárová v. Slovakia) dealing with police brutality against a member of an ethnic minority, the Court did not consider that “the authorities had before them information that was sufficient […]

  • Maris Burbergs

The right to choose the circumstances of becoming a parent

January 13, 2011

In the end of last year the Court delivered a judgment in the case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. In this judgment the Court created a new right – the right to choose the circumstances of becoming a parent. I will not focus on the discussion about the safety of the mother and the child that […]

  • Saïla Ouald Chaib

Meet the Strasbourg Observers! We are organizing a conference on “Mainstreaming Diversity” in Strasbourg

January 10, 2011

On February 3 and 4, you can meet us in Strasbourg where we organize the conference: “Mainstreaming Diversity: Rewriting Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights” The conference wants to suggest ways in which the European Court of Human Rights might improve its mainstreaming of diversity concerns. The conference is organized in six panels, respectively […]

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